49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

October 9, 2007
Big, fast receiver? Yes, please

The 49ers signed a new player to their active roster today and ... drum roll, please ... he's not a former Baltimore Raven. Instead he's a former player at Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is where both offensive coordinator Jim Hostler and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti played ball.

But that's not why they signed LeRon McCoy. The 49ers are hoping that he just might turn out to be the big, deep threat they don't seem to have right now. McCoy has size - 6-1, 219 pounds - and in 2005 ran a 4.41 at the scouting combine. Troy Williamson, Jerome Mathis and Courtney Roby were the only receivers who ran faster that February. The Cardinals took a chance on him in the seventh round. When injuries hit their receiving corps in 2005, McCoy started four games and finished the season with 18 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown. Not too shabby for a rookie. He was placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury in 2006. This summer, he just didn't impress new coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff. The report out of Arizona is that McCoy isn't the hardest worker in the world and that fellow receiver Anquan Boldin, who is a hard worker, often admonished the youngster about his work ethic.

My take - it's worth a shot. The 49ers desperately need someone who can put pressure on defenses and McCoy can do that if he can recapture some of his 2005 magic. The 49ers, of course, have two other players who, along with McCoy, will be given an opportunity to be the "dangerous" receiver they have not yet had. Ashley Lelie, however, can't seem to win over the coaches' confidence. Jason Hill, meanwhile, can't seem to shake a pesky hamstring injury that has sidelined him the last two games.

While the 49ers were picking up a former Arizona Cardinal, the Cardinals were returning the favor. The team picked up quarterback Tim Rattay, who will join the quarterbacking corps now that Matt Leinart is out with a broken collarbone. It seems like a good fit. Rattay was very accurate when he was healthy (and upright) and he'll have a lot of nice targets in Arizona. And who knows - given Kurt Warner's injury history, the 49ers might be seeing a lot of Rattay when they travel to Glendale, Ariz. on Nov. 25.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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